Netflix Confessional: True Blood, Season 1

It has been awhile since I’ve done this, mostly because the speed at which I watch Netflix movies slowed to a crawl once I started dating and partly because I’ve just been slow to write anything at all.  It might also have to do with the fact that my Netflix queue was commandeered by Strutter over the course of two years.  It started out with a little “Add this” and “Add that” and progressed to a “Why hasn’t this come in yet?  Move it to the top!”  So the movies for myself have, sadly, all been pushed to the bottom of the list to make way for Strutter picks which, usually sit unwatched for several days until I finally say “Watch this” and “Watch that” so as to get the queue moving again.  I make it sound like she’s picking crap I don’t want to see, but that isn’t the case.  She just takes her time getting around to watching a DVD of anything.  The solution, I’ve found, is to get television programs, which can be doled out in bite-sized portions.  Recently we plowed through seasons 1-5 of The Office.
In a Bold Move, I finally put my selections first.  I mentioned in my previous post that I recently obtained an Xbox 360 so as to stream Netflix picks.  This is an ideal method for queueing up the television programs for Strutter while I start getting my discs in the mail once more.  And the most recent discs were the first four episodes of HBO’s series, “True Blood.”
I’d heard a lot of hype about this from friends and co-workers, and was a little wary of it.  It’s from the same guy who did “Six Feet Under,” after all, and I vainly watched that show in the hopes that it would finally become something I enjoyed.  I actually have to remind myself that the show witht the “light and dark” girl and her crazy-ass brother was actually the same show with the gay undertaker.  It was really that non-memorable for me.
True Blood is a series set in Louisiana, in a world where vampires have come into the open because of the invention of a synthetic blood which can sustain them.  Of course this leads to some ill will between humans and vampires, which I suppose is realistic.  My problems with the show are as follows:

  • Vampires, with the exception of Bill Compton, are such a crazy stereotype.  While I do believe that a human being, when bestowed with immortality and the desire to feed on other humans, would resort to a level of such evil and debauchery that would make Satan blush, I do not believe it would be sustainable.  Either the individual would get bored with it and look at feeding as just a necessity, or the other members of the community who had reached that point would eliminate this threat from existence.  The first three vampires introduced after Bill Compton all fall into this category of evil, and it’s, frankly, unbelievable.
  • The main character, Sookie, is named Sookie.  I really don’t need to explain myself further than that, do I?
  • The sex is gratuitous.  I’m no prude, but the sex adds nothing to the show aside from showing that Sookie’s brother is personally involved with the women that are being murdered.  But since the story also shows us that he’s innocent, it sort of detracts from the point of showing us the sex.  You could just throw a few lines of dialogue in there to place him at the scene of the crime or even do a classy fade-to-black when things start heating up…
  • ALL of the main characters are good-looking.  This is a backwoods town in Louisiana.  I expect there to be less teeth, more fat, and more dirty clothes per character.
  • I wanted Tara’s character to die before the end of episode one.  Let this next statement be heard by all screenwriters: We do not need any more obnoxious, angry, educated black female stereotypes in television or movies.  It’s not doing anything for the equal right movement except widening the gap.  To her credit, however, I will say that I like her Southern accent the best.  It’s just the right amount of annoying.
  • It’s a vampire story.  Yes, I like Vampire stories.  Maybe all this Twilight/New Moon hype has soured the taste for me.  It just seems more commercially-driven than story-driven.

Despite all of that, I’m going to keep watching the show.  It’s got enough of a hook to make me want to see the next episode, and I actually like the character of Bill Compton.  It’s got it’s own stereotype, too, but it’s one that doesn’t make me grit my teeth.  Maybe he’ll convince Sookie to change her name.

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